Top Ten

June 28, 2011

Job cuts help VIU balance budget

Increased tuition fees, layoffs, more revenue, and decreased spending in all departments will balance Vancouver Island University's books. Approximately $2.3 million in savings was found through small reductions in all departments, through cuts in supplies, travel, or jobs. That includes a loss of 13 full-time positions, but more than half were already reassigned to another position or retired this year. A VIU spokeswoman says so far the institution has a balanced budget, but if losses from the faculty strike are higher than budget estimates, the BC government might have to step in to help. Nanaimo News Bulletin

Ontario invests nearly $29 million in Pathways to Education

The Ontario government announced Monday it will provide $28.5 million over 3 years to Pathways to Education. The funding is being extended to Pathways to continue to provide active mentoring, tutoring, and financial support to high school students from low-income communities in Hamilton, Kingston, Kitchener, Ottawa, and Toronto. Pathways has helped nearly 4,000 young people stay in school, get the credits they need to graduate and go on to college or university, or learn a trade. Ontario News Release

$8 million for St. Clair HealthPlex

On Monday the Ontario government announced a $7.9-million investment toward St. Clair College's HealthPlex athletic and training facility at the institution's South Windsor campus. The 75,000-square-foot building will feature an elevated walking track, 3 gyms, a therapy area, classrooms, and a media centre. The HealthPlex will house varsity teams and be accessible to all college students and staff, as well as the general public. Construction on the facility is expected to begin next spring, with work slated to be finished in time for the fall 2013 semester. St. Clair News | Windsor Star

uWinnipeg opens environment and science complex

The University of Winnipeg held a grand opening ceremony Monday for its $66.58-million Richardson College for the Environment and Science Complex, which includes over 30 teaching and research labs, a vivarium, and a 1,127-square-foot rooftop greenhouse. The complex is one of the most energy efficient educational laboratory buildings in North America, and is targeting LEED Gold designation. On Monday the Manitoba government announced $1.8 million to support operating expenses and one-time moving costs for the complex. uWinnipeg News Release | Manitoba News Release

York U students featured in new social media campaign

On Monday York University launched a new social media campaign called "Choose York" in which students tell the world why they chose to attend the institution. Videos posted on YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, and York U's website feature students explaining in their own words why the university was their first choice. The videos will be released at regular intervals over a 6-week period. Choose York will continue to add new videos over the duration of the campaign, featuring new, returning, transfer, and mature students showcasing the programs featured for all those coming to campus this year. The campaign includes an awareness ad designed to inform mature students about the power and potential of a York U education, as well as a call to action to apply for a September 2011 start. Y-File | Choose York

Ottawa approves charter changes for Queen's

A bill to amend the university charter to allow Queen's University to reduce the size of its board of trustees has become law. The amendment will also give University Council the flexibility to determine its size and composition. Currently one of the largest university boards in Canada, the board at Queen's plans to shrink from 44 to 25 members over the next 3 years in order to increase effectiveness and efficiency. Queen's News Centre

UWO board approves plans for new residence

The University of Western Ontario's board of governors has approved plans for a new 1,000-bed student residence. In response to increased first-year enrolment, the new residence building will accommodate all first-year students, who, in the meantime, will be housed in London Hall, an upper-year residence. Construction of a new residence building will allow UWO to continue to guarantee all first-year students a place in residence, an initiative important to the university’s ability to attract and retain the best and brightest students. With a budget close to $90 million, construction of the new residence will begin this fall. The residence building is slated to open in September 2013. UWO News Release

Ottawa invests in trades training for Aboriginal people in BC

Under the Canada-British Columbia Labour Market Agreement, the province's Industry Training Authority (ITA) will distribute $2.2 million this year for trades training programs for Aboriginal people. First Nations and other agency providers will deliver training to approximately 350 participants in over 2 dozen communities in BC through ITA's Aboriginal Initiatives program. The BC government announced last week funding under the federal-provincial Labour Market Partnerships Program for an ITA research project to identify barriers that limit the success of Aboriginal people entering and completing skilled trades certification. Since 2006, Aboriginal participation in apprenticeship training in BC has risen by 118%. BC News Release

StatsCan article explores adult workers' participation in job-related training, education

According to a new Statistics Canada article, between July 2007 and July 2008, 41.2% of adult workers participated in formal career- or job-related training activities or education. One-fifth of those who participated undertook studies leading to a formal credential, and 86.8% took courses, workshops, or seminars that did not lead to a formal credential. The article notes that women, young people, and more highly-educated workers were more likely to partake in structured training. The highest participation rates in job-related training activities or education were found in health occupations (62.3%); social science, education, and government service occupations (60.7%); natural and applied sciences occupations (51.4%); and management occupations (50.6%). The article states that the majority of adult workers who undertook job- or career-related training activities or education did so to improve their job performance or their knowledge. Statistics Canada

70% of students surveyed have jobs this summer

According to the new BMO Student Summer Survey, 70% of responding Canadian PSE students say they have found summer jobs. 48% say they will rely on summer earnings for PSE, and 61% say they will use the income to cover day-to-day school-year expenses. 32% of students surveyed think they will have under $100,000 in school debt, while 27% say they will have no debt at all. 63% think they will be able to pay of their debt within 5 years. BMO News Release